Your Genetics May Potentially Cause You To Be Prone To Hearing Problems

Hearing loss, also known as congenital deafness, is one of the most common of all birth defects. It is known to affect three in every 1,000 babies born. A large amount of this is due to genes. In fact, out of the deaf babies, 60% have this defect due to their genes. Additionally, it is believed that genes are behind hearing loss in the elderly, although no facts or figures currently exist. At the same time, it is important to understand that various other factors can be behind hearing loss as well. Other factors of influence include environmental issues, medication, illness and trauma. Hearing is always screened when a baby is born. If one or both parents have hearing issues themselves that aren’t caused by illness or their environment, their children will probably be tested more regularly. Unfortunately, since schools no longer offer standard hearing screening tests, more and more kids are slipping through the net. Hopefully, the following information will be able to shed some light on the different issues relating to hearing loss, which can be useful for parents and children alike.

There are two main distinctions within hearing impairments, which are the syndromic and non syndromic types. Around 70% of all people with genetic hearing loss have the non-syndromic type. Autosomal-recessive inheritance is responsible for 80% of the hearing loss within this group. Within the other 20%, hearing loss is mainly caused by autosomal-dominant genes, and a very small percentage by genetic malfunctions (mitochondrial or X-linked). Then, there are the syndromic people. This means the issue is caused by clinical abnormalities. Syndromic hearing loss is present in 15% to 30% of those who have a genetic hearing impairment. Interestingly, over 400 conditions and syndromes can be the cause of this. Because this is such a huge number, patients generally only learn about the one that is applicable to them.

Because each syndrome also has a range of different symptoms, they are usually expressed and exhibited in many different ways. Because every single symptom can be experienced in severity ranging from mild to severe, the possible combinations truly are endless. Indeed, even in people who have the same mutated gene, the symptoms can be experienced differently. In fact, a number of identical twins have been identified who experience the same symptoms in different ways. Due to this, a baby may be identified as having a congenital hearing defect, it won’t be known how this will affect them until much later. Sometimes, scientists now believe, these symptoms don’t even appear until the patient is elderly.

How Necessary Is A Dehumidifier For People Who Wear A Hearing Aid?

Hearing aids are absolutely essential to many people. A hearing aid allows someone to enjoy a much greater quality of life, as well as helping them to avoid social isolation. This demonstrates just how important hearing aids are, and why people must take very good care of them. Hearing aids aren’t cheap, which demonstrates the importance of proper care even more. Hearing aids can cost anything from $500 to $6000. Hence, people should look at them as if they were an investment. Users can employ a number of simple steps to help them prolong the life of their hearing aid. When people first have a new hearing aid fitted, all of these steps will be properly explained to them. Using a dehumidifier is one of those steps.

Moisture can be fatal to a hearing aid. Unfortunately, when it is warm, we sweat and when it is cold we create condensation when we go in and out of buildings, meaning it is very difficult to keep the hearing aids are free from moisture. Luckily, hearing aid dehumidifiers are available to avoid problems caused by moisture. Different makes and models work in different ways, but most have a jar-like element into which the user leaves their hearing aid overnight. As such, it also means that people don’t have to go through the day without being able to hear.

The lifespan of a hearing aid could be as much as doubled by using a dehumidifier. This is also because the devices protect the hearing aid not just from moisture, but also from skin acid. They help to avoid various malfunctions and costly repairs. It is a little known fact that these devices are actually older than modern hearing aids, having been used since the Second World War. Of course, these devices didn’t have anything to do with hearing aids, but were instead used to protect radars and radios. However, the technology stuck around and even NASA now uses it. Hearing aids are incredibly sophisticated tools and this must never be forgotten. It is always a bad idea to introduce moisture to any piece of electrical equipment. Those who use a dehumidifier protect the internal components of their hearing aids as well. This is true for all makes, models and brands of hearing aids. Although it is your right to not use a dehumidifier if you have a hearing aid, this would be a very bad decision. It is best to speak to your hearing specialist in order to find out which brand of dehumidifier best suits your particularly hearing aid.

The Impact The Elements Could Have On Your Hearing Aids

It is important to understand that hearing aids are affected by both cold and hot weather. When we sweat in the hot summer months, hearing aids can get damaged by moisture. However, the cold can cause moisture damage as well. Condensation occurs when we go inside and outside of buildings, where we experience temperature fluctuations. Anyone who wears a hearing aid must know what the signs of moisture damage are, and what they can do if it occurs. Naturally, those who wear a hearing aid will also be taught how to prevent damage from happening in the first place.

Moisture can affect the microphone and the receiver of a hearing aid. Also, the tubing of the ear-mold can easily get clogged up. This leads to corrosion. One sign is to find a hearing aid cuts out if exposed to loud noises. Another sign is when sound starts to fade, or to come and go. Additionally, sound starts to get punctuated by static. Another thing to look out for is distorted or unclear sound. One final sign is when a hearing aid completely switches itself off and then starts again. When this sign appears, it is safe to say your hearing aid is significantly broken.

However, never assume you have moisture damage before performing a few checks first. Start by making sure that your T-switch is correctly placed. Secondly, make sure that the batteries are in the correct place. In many cases, the signs are caused by empty batteries instead. You also have to make sure your batteries aren’t corroded. If you see a white powdery substance on your batteries, they are corroded. Throw them out immediately. Simply use a cotton swab if you notice any moisture in between your batteries, creating contact. Also check your wax protection system and clean it if needed. Finally, make sure there are no cracks or frays in the tubing. Only if none of these problems are present does it becoming likely that moisture is the problem. In BTE (behind the ear) models, it is common to find moisture droplets in the tubing. You can get rid of this by using an earmold puffer. Alternatively, have your hearing aid fitted with a moisture dispersing tube. A special drying device is needed for in-the-ear models. Hopefully, this will help you dry your hearing aid before the damage becomes irreparable. This also demonstrates how important it is that you take preventative measures before you get to the point of the hearing aid getting damaged.

A Guide To Be Confident Your Hearing Aid Is Fully Protected From Earwax

Earwax can be incredibly damaging to hearing aids. Cerumen is scooped into the sound outlet every time the hearing aid is inserted. This can be at the detriment of the sound quality. It may be necessary, therefore, to use a wax protection system, particularly if one is not built-in to the device. There are different protection systems out there, let’s take a look at some of the options.

The first option is the wax spring. The spring needs to be placed on the receiver tubing of the sound outlet. Be aware that this device looks like a spring, hence its name, but it isn’t actually one. Under a microscope, it actually looks like a beehive. This device is designed to stop earwax from entering the port, where it will cause untold damage. The user can then regularly remove the wax as soon as they take out their hearing aid. Because it is such a small device, it can fit inside any ear canal. Unfortunately, it does need to be cleaned very often. The second option is the flip-top wax guard. This device keeps the wax out by covering the port of the sound outlet. The sound port can be cleaned by opening the hinged door. In most cases, a hearing aid manufacturer will have to install this device. This is generally the preferred method of keeping wax out of the outlet.Additionally, it is permanently attached to the hearing aid, so doesn’t need replacing. The downside is that it requires daily cleaning, or the wax will be able to get into the receiver. Finally, users can choose the C-guard. This is a device that also has to be installed by the manufacturer. Although a highly complicated device, it essentially uses a replaceable membrane that collects the earwax. Again, this device has to be cleaned every day. However, cleaning is very easy and just requires a quick wipe. So long as manual dexterity is normal, changing the membrane is very easy. This means that it is not suitable for the majority of elderly people.

Hearing aid users must choose some form of wax protection system. More often than not, choosing the wax protection system is a personal decision. When their device is fitted, they will be provided with advice on their available choices. Since the flip-top model is the easiest to use for users across the board, this is generally the device of choice; however, the C-guard is also very popular, coming in at a close second behind the flip-top model.

What Causes Single-Sided Hearing Problems?

When someone has hearing loss in only one ear, they have SSD (single-sided deafness) or UHL (unilateral hearing loss). The hearing loss itself can range from mild to profound. SSD and UHL can be congenital or progressive. A variety of different symptoms can be associated with the syndrome. The most commonly experienced issues include tinnitus, otalgia and vertigo. If otitis media with effusion is present, it is common for UHL to be caused.

SSD causes a lot of different things. We often see that people with SSD struggle to follow a group conversation, particularly if they find themselves in a reverberant environment. Loud noises are also highly problematic. It is also common for people who suffer from it to feel unsafe and become isolated and lose self-confidence. It is common for people with congenital SSD to have psychosocial and educational problems. Scientists have not yet spent much time looking into the prevalence of SSD. Their are of focus is more strongly on bilateral hearing loss. Some preliminary studies have taken place and these suggest that some 10% of the population actually has UHL. It is known, however, that it is more common to have conductive hearing loss rather than sensorineural hearing loss.

Additionally, specialists agree that very often, SSD develops into a bilateral condition. Six different classifications are possible, being acquired or congenital, sensorineural or conductive and non-genetic or genetic. Very often, it isn’t known what the aetiology of childhood SSD is. In the case of adults, however, the cases are generally clearer. If UHL has to be diagnosed, then the person first has to go through a clinical examination and their medical history has to be reviewed as well. Generally, otoscopy is able to tell what the cause is. Very often, tuning forks can be used to determine whether the UHL is conductive or sensorineural. This is because this test can determine pure tone hearing thresholds. In doing so, it will become clear whether the hearing loss is bilateral or unilateral in nature. If there is a lot of difference between the two, then masking noises must be employed. Doing this will stop the good ear from transferring sounds to the bad ear. Those people who suspect they have SSD should seek professional help as soon as possible to determine what is going on and what can be done about it. It is a shame that the cause can often not be determined, but what really matters is that people are able to enjoy a greater quality of life through treatment and thereby avoid social isolation and unhappiness.

Examining The Variances Between Analog And Digital Hearing Aids

It is important to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a hearing aid. This makes a lot of sense especially when you consider the cost of a hearing aid however, it can be quite confusing however to decide which type of hearing aid you are going to spend your money on. Essentially, there are two types of hearing aids: digital and analog; it is important to learn about their differences if you want to make sure that you are going to spend your money on the right device. First, DSP or Digital Signal Processor hearing aids are those that take incoming sounds or signals from the microphone and then converts the signal to digital formats which is the processed with the help of digital technology and converting the signal to analog sounds that are then delivered to your ears.

First among the advantages of digital hearing aids is their flexibility; their capacity to process more sounds selectively than an analog hearing aid. Another advantage of using a digital hearing aid is you are able to program it to reduce background noise – this feature allows you to improve hearing and sound quality significantly. And since it is possible to reduce feedback levels using a digital hearing aid, you are able to increase the level and quality of sound without any whistling noises. And to be sure that you are going to spend your money on the right digital hearing aid, you have to discuss this device carefully with your audiologist to be certain that you are going to buy something that you are truly going to be happy with. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to save money, you need to keep away from digital hearing aids that are suspiciously affordable as these products have already been eliminated with helpful features that make them great quality buys.

An analog hearing aid amplifies sound waves by enlarging them. These hearing devices make use of transistors to modify and then amplify incoming sound signals and it allows the wearer to adjust volume. An advantage of wearing analog hearing aids is that people that have used hearing aids for along time prefer it over digital ones since they are easier to get used to. The fact that analog hearing aids are easier to afford than digital hearing devices is another advantage and there are times when these analog devices are more powerful than their digital counterparts. You again need to go over all your available options with your audiologist. Make sure that you would carefully discuss all your options with your audiologist before you choose hearing devices to spend your money on.

Hearing Aids At Discount Stores – The Disadvantages

Hearing aids as we know, can cost a lot of money so it is not very surprising to know that there are people that look for easier to afford options. Affordability of course is the reason why hearing aids sold in wholesale outlets such as WalMart or Costco have grown in popularity. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to save money especially in hearing aids that would typically cost you almost $5,000 from independent providers or audiologists, you have to understand that with hearing aids, just like with any other product you buy, you would get exactly what you pay for. To be fair you will find a number of benefits of buying a hearing aid from these wholesale outlets or stores. For starters, you can get your hearing tested from hearing aid dispensers and even try wearing hearing aids while you are in the store so you can test them.

There are also people that are satisfied with the quality of the hearing aids they bought from wholesale stores or outlets. But of course, there are also plenty of reasons why buying hearing aids from wholesale stores may not be the best option. First of all, buying a hearing aid from wholesale outlets – cheap as they are – would leave you stuck with the stores. You need to keep in mind that when you buy a hearing aid, you are going to establish a relationship with the dealer or the audiologist you would buy the hearing aid from; a relationship in fact, that would last for many years. Buying from independent suppliers or providers gives you the freedom to switch providers if you are unhappy with the service they provide or if the supplier must move to another location.

When you buy a cheaper hearing aid from Costco or Walmart, you are going to be stuck with hearing aids that only their “audiologists” can program for you; meaning the device is “locked” and you cannot take them to independent suppliers for adjustment or even repairs. Also, hearing aids sometimes do have a mind of their own and you cannot really tell when you need assistance and buying from a wholesale store that only operates from 8am to 5pm does not provide you with the reliability of services that you need which is something that you can expect from independent providers. In addition, cheap hearing aids sold in wholesale outlets have limited styles or brands and features and if there is one thing that is important in buying a hearing aid, it is there is no one-size-fits-all solution, hearing aids should be tailor made to the specific needs of the wearer and that makes them costly.

Soft Drinks – Do They Really Trigger Hearing Loss?

First of all, humans have bodies that actually evolved on a diet that is high in fiber; meaning, humans used to have a diet full of vegetables and fruits. So going against the actual nature of your body would cause health problems, not to mention the possibility that your energy level would dissipate and yes, this can cause hearing loss, too. More to the point, there are millions of people all over the world who swear by how much better they feel when they switch back to a high fiber diet free of artificial sweeteners and unhealthy fats. A high fiber diet ensures that you get to regulate bowel movement; improve your colon health and help you lose weight naturally. And to be sure that you are increasing your fiber intake, you have to eat fruits and vegetables every day and learn how to combine foods. This way, you would get a properly balanced meal and make sure you are not missing out on important nutrients needed by your body.

You have to combine vegetables with protein, simple carbohydrates and healthy fats. This will lower your body’s absorption of carbohydrates and sugar. You can slow down absorption of sugar and carbohydrates even more by eating your proteins first. This means that you get to store less fats and you will increase your energy levels throughout the day and minimize your food cravings after every meal which means there are less chances of you binging on food later on. As time passes, you would notice that you eat lesser junk food as you become accustomed to eating healthier food choices. If you must use sweeteners, choose products that use stevia – an all natural sweetener, highly recommended by doctors for its various health benefits. But is it really true that drinking too much soda – diet or otherwise, can cause hearing loss?

The thing you have to understand about sodas is they are drinks that contain aspartame, a processed artificial sweetener which is found to cause severe neurodegeneration when taken in large doses. Other than causing nerve damage, 20 mg of aspartame taken in a day over the course of a few years would cause cancer in a human being. Do you know how many milligrams of aspartame is present in a 12-ounce bottle of diet soda? The answer is 180 mg. If that is not bad enough, this deadly and oh so sweet aspartame is also found to cause Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and severe hearing health problems including hearing loss. Any changes that you want to make in how and what you eat should be given a green light first by your doctor or nutritionist.

Ronald Regan’s Personal Account Of Hearing Loss

Some 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan was in all the papers because he appeared publicly with a Starkey INTRA hearing aid. He was the first major public figures to publicly admit to need hearing aids. It is thanks to this move that hearing aids became far more publicly accepted. The Starkey Technology business also grew tremendously thanks to this. It took just two weeks for the business to quadruple in size. The hearing aid used by Reagan was custom-made and came at a price of $1,000. It is widely accepted that exposure to loud gunshot noises on the sets of the Western movies is what caused his hearing loss. It is interesting that it was always maintained that the president’s hearing loss was only “moderate”, when he missed an entire message spoken into his deaf ear by chief of staff Donald Reagan.

What is really important, however, is that Reagan became an advocate for people with hearing loss. Additionally, he ensured a stronger focus was placed on making technological advances in hearing aids. And it must be recognized that it was Reagan who influence other public figures to wear hearing aids, making this far more publicly acceptable all over the globe. Companies like Starkey Technologies are still building on this now. The Clinton family were heavily influenced by the actions of Reagan. In 2013, Starkey partnered up with Bill and Chelsea Clinton, delivering hearing aids to people in Zambia and Rwanda. This is because Starkey has made a commitment towards philanthropic actions. They have signed up to the Clinton Global Initiative, which means they donate 100,000 hearing aids a year to people most in need.

Reagan has influenced many other global leaders in this as well. George W. Bush joined another Starkey Africa campaign, delivering hearing aids in Tanzania in the same year as the Clintons did. Barbara Bush joined the Global Health Corps to deliver hearing aids in Uganda. It is thanks to Reagan that we now understand how important it is that people all over the world are able to enjoy a greater quality of life. In stepping out in public admitting he had hearing problems, a huge social stigma was removed. Thanks to these actions, people worldwide were comfortable coming forward to say that they needed more help with their hearing problems. It also made sure that companies like Starkey and others were able to make far greater technological advances. It could be said, therefore, that Ronald Reagan really is the patron saint of hearing aids and hearing loss.

The Link Between Drinking Red Wine And Hearing Health

Red grapes, and therefore red wine, contain resveratrol. We now know that this substance is important not just in protecting the heart, but also in protecting hearing and cognitive function. Laboratory rats showed less problems after being exposed to loud noises after consuming resveratrol. Bioinflammation is the main research area of the study. Bioinflammation is the response of the body to injury of any kind, including hearing loss.

A regular glass of red wine contains between 0.30 and 1.07 mg of resveratrol. The recent study tried to demonstrate that the chemical is responsible for appropriately dealing with internal inflammation. It is these internal inflammations that cause us to lose our hearing and cognitive function, as well as make us age. The fact that resveratrol is an anti-aging compound and is good for the heart has long been known. However, the link to hearing loss improvement is new. In our country alone, 20% of people have some kind of hearing loss. Most of these people also experience progressive deterioration. Hearing problems are particularly common in military personnel. The hearing loss in service personnel is almost always noise induced. This causes a number of problems, besides loss of hearing. Some of these issues include difficulties with communication, insomnia and stress, which in turn leads to an increased chance of having a heart attack. Scientists are excited about the idea that resveratrol, commonly found in red grapes, blueberries, peanuts and more, could have a positive effect on this. The focus is most strongly on the red grapes, which contain the highest levels of the chemical. Indeed, the concentrations are highest in red wine, above and beyond those in red grape juice or white wine.

The study looked specifically at the effects of red wine on hearing loss. It conclusive proved in animal tests that it reduces the rate of hearing decline, as well as cognitive decline. This is hugely important, not in the least because the link between hearing loss and dementia is also well-established. It is known that those with hearing problems are at an increased risk of developing dementia, even if they make use of hearing aids. If these people can truly be helped simply by drinking a glass of red wine a day, this could be really beneficial. We know that France is one of the healthiest nations in the world, with people living longer, and it is believed that this is due to red wine. Indeed, for them, red wine isn’t even classed as an alcoholic drink.